The Devil's Highway
On the Road in the American West
168 Pages, 12.00 x 9.50 x 1.10 in, 86 photographs
Distributed for The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin
Sales Date: July 19, 2022
With this haunting new collection of photographs, Joan Myers continues the decades-long journey she began in Where the Buffalo Roamed (with Lucy Lippard), documenting the changing landscape and culture of the American West. The images in this new collection are more personal, more elegiac—and all black-and-white. They bear witness to the fracturing of the American Dream, the demise of cowboy culture, and the shrinking of small towns, ranches, and farms throughout western rural America. The themes she examines are reflected in The Devil’s Highway, a powerfully evocative short story by Pulitzer finalist William deBuys, first published in 1992 in Story magazine and reproduced here for the first time. Myers and deBuys previously collaborated on Salt Dreams: Land and Water in Low-Down California, which inspired the highly acclaimed film, The Colorado.
Myers has spent much of her time roaming the American West, but has also worked in India, the Canary Islands, Antarctica, Java, Sicily, Sardinia, Hawaii, and more. Her extensive photo archive is now housed at the Briscoe Center for American History on the University of Texas at Austin campus.
The photographs feature Myers’ compelling use of contrasting imagery to underscore the dichotomies between the West as it exists in the imagination, or through the lens of nostalgia, and the realities of the contemporary West. And it poses the question, without asking it directly: What happened to the American Dream?~Pasatiempo